We met Clarky Davis, who runs the Debt Diva website,and interior designer Erinn Valencich of Omniarte Design, at the Marshall's store in Springfield for their tips making your home festive, without breaking your budget.
Davis said, "The great thing about holiday decorations is that if you invest in some, they'll last for several years." She explained that she spent $100 for an artificial tree at a "Christmas in July" sale and has used it for five seasons. She figures it saves her about $60 a year, money she would've spent on a fresh tree.
Still, the selection of holiday decor items can be overwhelming.
Valencich suggests going through the decorations you already have and sorting them by color.
Then, she says, you should pick a theme -- like tone-on-tone silver, with clear and white pieces; or greens and blues -- and buy just a few trendy pieces to update what you have.
She suggested buying just one or two new, unusual pieces that will "pop" with your existing pieces for an inexpensive, trendy update.
Other ways to save include buying décor items that can double as gifts... Like a sleigh full candy that was for sale at Marshall's. It cost $16.99 and could be used as a centerpiece or placed on the mantle.
Finally, Davis advises being patient and looking for sales -- both for this Christmas and next. After Christmas, many decor items are reduced 50% to 75%. That makes the end of the season a great time to plan your decor for next year.
Morey money-related links: